23 March 2011

305 Albion Street, Brunswick, VIC, Australia

Update, 28/11/2014: We have received concerns that some comments on this entry are defamatory of individual Walshe & Whitelock agents. Comments with defamatory content have been deleted. This blog is no longer actively monitored, so we have chosen to close comments to avoid the possibility of further defamatory comments. We apologise for this; if you have an opinion you wish to share on Walshe & Whitelock's business practices, please post it on your own blog or Google Reviews or elsewhere - and make sure you don't defame anybody!

If you're a regular reader of this blog (and if you're not, why not?) you will almost certainly be familiar with the concept of "Walshe and Whitelock" by now. For those who may not be, it is the name of an estate agent that always seems to be hocking off the most miserable properties, which are usually massive, made of bricks in that awful 1960s brutalist style and have about as much character as a dog turd on the pavement. They usually provoke a similar reaction to a dog turd on the pavement, in fact. Anyway, I thought I'd seen my fair share of Walshe and Whitelocks around here. I almost thought I was becoming desensitised to them. Then we stumbled across this quintessential example of hideousness on Albion Street.
The picture possibly makes it look better than it really is.

This thing embodies the Walshe and Whitelock stereotype to the most ridiculous extent. Everything that could be potentially wrong with it IS in fact wrong with it. First off, the design (or lack thereof). Enough red bricks to last a lifetime? Check. Complete lack of a roof to cap off the "shoebox" design model? Check.  Crappy attempt at adding variation with the white bricks around the windows? Present and correct. Something this soulless shouldn't be allowed to exist, especially in an area which is otherwise most aesthetically pleasing. With regards to the right hand side of the house, I would usually say something like "chop down your trees!" But in this case, the massively overgrown vegetation is more of a blessing than a curse. At least I only have to look at half of it this way. I feel sorry for the residents on that side though - we all know Walshe and Whitelock properties are known for their dinginess, and this shrubbery over their windows would exacerbate this tenfold.

Security entrance! Central courtyard!
Now, you see that open door there in the middle? That's another one of Walshe and Whitelock's famous "security entrances", as seen previously in this entry. It is always open, even in the depths of winter and in the middle of the night. As a matter of fact, I'm not even sure there is a door there to close in the first place. It would make sense given Walshe and Whitelock's general stinginess. It would be very easy to get in here, and judging by the abundance of mailboxes, there would be a great variety of places to rob. That's if any burglar can bring themselves to set foot in this place, though. Even burglars have standards.

The middle of the complex seems to open out onto a courtyard of some sort. Judging by what we can see in these pictures, that certainly doesn't look like somewhere I'd like to spend my afternoons. The balcony that faces it looks mouldy and possibly structurally unsound,  too. I bet it was some optimistic attempt at a garden or some other feature, which lasted about a day and then degenerated into weeds and muck. In fact, I'm probably being optimistic. It's probably just where they keep their rubbish bins.

What's behind the trees? You don't want to know.
There shouldn't be any excuse for this. Seeing places like this just depresses me, so I can't even imagine what it must be like to actually live in one. Are people really this desperate? I guess so, given the exorbitant amounts that Walshe and Whitelock get away with charging for the rent. They know that they can offer a tiny, boxy, dark apartment that hasn't seen a paintbrush or even a duster this side of 1970, and some poor student will still settle for it at $300 a week. In addition to that, it breaks my heart to think what lovely Victorian home stood here before the developers massacred it in the 1960s. The only redeeming feature I can pick about this place is that at least it's used. Can you imagine how many thousands of times worse these places would look if they were abandoned? I'm dreading the day that I come across one. They wouldn't even be interesting to explore given the total lack of thought given to the architecture.

Still, at least it has windows (unlike some modern places) so that you can look out and see what you're missing.

Rating: Condemnable; should be illegal.

26 comments:

  1. Walshe & Whitelock's conduct is unforgiveable. Everyone in the office is completely incompetent. This business does not care about its clients at all.

    I used them as a property manager and they have cost me $1500 because they did not tell me my tenant wanted a phone line installed on my property. The tenant took the matter to VCAT and had an order made against me. I would have happily paid for the installation if I had known about it. Walshe & Whitelock knew for the entire year and did not bother to tell me but lied to my tenant saying I had refused his request.

    They deserve to be put out of business. Can you do a posting on how incompetent Walshe & Whitelock are in general? I'm sure you will have many comments.

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    1. Agree, they dont consult owners on anything, then when it ends up at VCAT its a big surprise, hopeless, unprofessional, incompetent fools.

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  2. I'm hardly surprised to hear of such a miserable experience at the hands of Walshe & Whitelock. I was once a tenant of theirs and copped it at the other end, where they just could not have cared less what was wrong with the property. I sometimes wondered if they just made up things on the spot to both tenants and landlords to avoid having to do actual work.

    And it's funny you mention doing an entry about them, since we've been planning to do one almost since this blog began. May happen soon - we've taken a break for a couple of months and it's about time we did some new entries!

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  3. I can't believe I finally found a forum to discuss the disgraceful behavior of this company! Made my life miserable for years as a commercial tenant. I hope they are out of business soon so they can't do this to any more people. Rudest people I've eve met. Not to mention totally ignorant to their obligations to tenants to the point THEY took me to mediation for expecting them to provide me with statements they are supposed to provide all commercial tenants. They refused to listen or answer my calls or emails on the matter so when we went to mediation.. TWICE they were pretty niches laughed at every time with the mediator commenting to me "these people know nothing- I've never seen anything like it"

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  4. That's incredible! I seriously can't believe how bad this company is. I have never before experienced such awful service and ineptitude. I hope you ended up getting a good result from this situation and that you never have to deal with them again.

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  5. I have listed many of my properties with Walshe and Whitelock over the years and I can not express enough how great their service is. Unlike most real estate agencies they have always been extremely friendly and sincere in all their dealings with me. I would recommend them to anyone and think that the individual who has made this post obviously has some kind of grudge for the wrong reason and too much time on their hands.

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    1. i really doubt that ALL of these people would be going out of there way to search out a forum to air their grievances with this company if they didn't have good reason too.
      For people to go as far as to take time out of their lives to post these comments I have to say their treatment must have been pretty terrible.

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  6. People need to stop using these idiots so they go bust.

    How are they not embarrassed to call themselves real estate agent?!

    Enough said. Do your research before signing any papers!

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    1. "How are they not embarrassed to call themselves real estate agent?!"

      I do have to laugh at your comment as considering the public perception of real estate agents in general, I think Walshe & Whitelock's actions are pretty much in line with expectations. The fact is that most real estate agents are dodgy scum. Almost all property managers are pathetic who treat landlords and tenants with complete disdain.

      I actually work at a Real Estate Agency but we don't call ourselves agents...as it has become such a dirty word! It is almost impossible for the public to differentiate a good agent from a bad one until it is too late, but we will keep trying.

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  7. Yet again we hear that this agency invokes nothing but disgust from their customers. They have been censoring alot of the other negative reviews about their business that people have posted elsewhere and posting positive reviews about themselves. Not only that, they have been threatening their previous clients who have tried to warn people about how bad this place is with defamation! Instead of actually trying to improve their practice to stay in business and win over customers, all they can do is bully people with erroneous interpretations of the law from dodgy lawyers. This firm should just really disappear from the face of this earth they have so much bad will.

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  8. I'd just like to say that I am delighted this entry has brought forth numerous people to condemn Walshe & Whitelock's poor business practices and deplorable behaviour and I urge anybody else who's disgruntled with W&W to air their views. Also, I'm willing to bet the anonymous commenter of 7 December 2012 is a W&W stooge. This is a company with zero goodwill that screws over both tenants and landlords. I'm pretty sure the only office with a more oppressive, unwelcoming, depressing vibe than your average Centrelink centre is W&W's office on Sydney Road. Every time I have ever been in there, I have desperately wanted to be somewhere else.

    W&W prey upon desperation. They generally rent out the poorest properties to the most desperate customers. You can tell when you are at their office. Although they treat current and even prospective clients like shit, W&W know people will keep coming back because they want a roof over their head for a price they can afford, no matter how dodgy it is. I don't entirely know how the staff at W&W sleep at night knowing the way they screw over so many people and feed off their misery.

    Also, they're complete idiots who can't read. When I vacated the property I rented through W&W, I was called by one of their surly office staff (somebody who I had never dealt with before or since) demanding very condescendingly to know why a certain fixture in my apartment was broken. My response was simply that it was broken when I moved in and that this was clearly marked on my condition report that she presumably had right in front of her. This woman simply muttered "oh" and hung up on me. At least I got my bond back in full.

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  9. "People need to stop using these idiots so they go bust"

    Hear, hear!

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  10. The only properties rented by this company are those owned by the family through some dodgy family trust arrangement. I don't see any respectable landlord trusting this agency with their property.

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  11. My oh my! I can't believe how many other people have had terrible experiences with W&W as well. Unfortunately the property I bought from them is already with them for body corporate. I'm now stuck with incompetent fools who cannot fix the smallest problem with a property. I raised three issues six weeks ago and NONE of them have been rectified yet. Disgraceful!!

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    1. We had the same problem with them. We wanted to get rid of them as a body corp manager and they did everything possible to make it difficult for us. Luckily we persevered and have finally changed to another agency. The process is not too difficult - just needs a vote at the AGM or a postal ballot. Regardless, they will not listen to the votes cast and try to rely on their dodgy contract. We almost had to take them to VCAT. We are now with Victoria Body Corporate Services who were able to match the rates of W&W. Still a nasty process that could have been avoided if we weren't stuck with this company in the first place!

      I am going to try and make a complaint to REIV about their conduct and urge everyone to do the same. Maybe, the licensing authorities and representative agencies will realise but a poor excuse for a real estate agency this is and revoke their license. W&W certainly don't deserve to practise.

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    2. Don't complain to the REIV, they are an industry body made up of former agents who do everything they can to protect agents, even the bad ones. You need to complain to Consumer Affairs (http://www.consumer.vic.gov.au/contact-us/make-a-complaint) if you want action to be taken.

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    3. In response to my post 'Anonymous March 4, 2013' we have just managed to change owners corp management as well. Mirroring the experience of 'Anonymous from March 5, 2013' they did everything the could to make changing over as difficult as possible - but it was worth the effort in the end! We have changed to Love Real Estate and although it's only been two weeks, the contrast between the customer service offered by the two companies could not be greater!

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  12. wow! I am so happy to have found a forum to complain about these people that is not censored and wont be removed by them!

    They are horrible. They don't do even the smallest thing that they are supposed to do as a property manager! Even when you send them the relevant act/laws that your lease is protected under they totally ignore you. It seems they think they are above the law??

    Pity they are not and you can simply take them to vcat. Although as the comment above - why should we be forced to take further action when the law protects us? and shouldn't agents know and understand those laws? and shouldn't there be a body to report them too??

    Luckily there is and I'm sure if enough people made complaints to the REIV something would have to be done!

    even know I've been emailing them for weeks asking a simple question and I just get no response what so ever. It is very frustrating as I know my landlord thinks I am a horrible tenant but Im not the one making the mistakes.

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    1. As above, don't bother complaining to the REIV as they work for the agents!

      Contact Consumer Affairs (http://www.consumer.vic.gov.au/contact-us/make-a-complaint) if you want to make a complaint.

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  13. Can I suggest that you invert your list so that the most recent complaints are at the top. At a quick glance it could be believed that the most recent problem with agent was March 2011. That is not the case.

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  14. Must be paying people to review them on google review! 6 positive reviews in the past week.. I call bullshit! Get on there ASAP and write an accurate review please!!

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  15. I own my own unit and they are unfortunately our body corporate. (Kill me now) I have lived there for 10 years and they are morons. 3 or 4 years ago we had to put money into painting the outside... it still hasnt been done, ppl are meant to come and clean the windows but that hasnt happened in a decade.... I resent paying out money for shit that doesnt get done or is just basically a lie. Dammit I want my paint money back. Thank god im selling and have 4 weeks left of their highway robbery.

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  16. So its not just me who cant stand these "agents"!!!

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  17. If youre reading these reviews, please post on google reviews, so future tenants and landlords dont have to go through the same pain as we all have.
    :/

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    1. Agree, people should know what walshe and whitelock are really like before signing on!!

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  18. It's very funny seeing the recent positive reviews. I know for a fact they are nearly all been posted by friends of the useless employees! Just sad really

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